SAO PAULO (Reuters) – The Electric Sector Monitoring Committee (CMSE) has recommended new relaxation of hydraulic restrictions at the hydroelectric plants of Jupiá, Porto Primavera, Ilha Solteira and Três Irmãos, in a measure aimed at guaranteeing the supply of energy in the midst of the crisis faced by Brazil, informed the federal government in a note published on Wednesday night.
According to a statement from the Ministry of Mines and Energy, it was also determined that the National Electric System Operator (ONS) evaluate, together with the National Water Agency (ANA), the strategy for using the reservoirs of the hydroelectric plants in the basin of the Big River.
The movement, said the ministry, aims to provide governability of hydraulic cascades, preserve the use of water and guarantee the country’s energy supply during the dry period of 2021.
In the specific case of the Ilha Solteira and Jupiá plants, whose operating levels have impacts on navigation on the Tietê-Paraná Waterway, the committee decided that the ONS should disclose the operating perspectives at least 15 days in advance.
The ministry highlighted in the note that “the scenario of attention to service conditions remains, with a predominance of low storage in the reservoirs of hydroelectric plants, as a result of the scenario of water scarcity in the country, notably in the Paraná River basin.”
“Furthermore, inflows remain below historical average values,” added the folder, noting that the current drought is the worst faced by Brazil in 91 years.
The CMSE’s deliberations must still be considered by the Chamber of Exceptional Rules for Hydroenergy Management (Creg), created by the federal government at the end of June to define emergency measures in the face of water scarcity.
The government has denied possibilities of energy rationing in the country, but decided to ask the population for measures for a conscious consumption of water and electricity. The committee’s Wednesday meeting included the presentation of Aneel’s proposal for an awareness campaign.
“Considering the ongoing measures and also the structural balance of the Brazilian electric energy matrix in terms of supply x demand…, the CMSE reiterated the guarantee of the supply of electric energy in 2021 to Brazilian consumers,” added the ministry.
The CMSE also highlighted that the deliberation remains in force for the ONS to dispatch thermoelectric generation outside the order of merit and import electricity from Argentina or Uruguay, without limitation in the amounts and associated prices, as a way to deal with the water crisis.
(By Gabriel Araujo)
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